Posts Tagged ‘Bill Wyman’


I appear on “CTV News at 11:30” with anchor Andria Case to talk about the best movies and television to watch this weekend, including the Netflix biopic “Rustin,” the music documentary “The Stones and Brian Jones,” the animated “Trolls Band Together” and the prequel “The Hunger games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.”

Watch the whole thing HERE! (Starts at 19:35)



On the Saturday November 18, 2023 edition of the Richard Crouse Show, we meet Nick Broomfield, director of the new documentary “The Stones And Brian Jones,” now playing in theatres. With candid interviews and never-before-seen footage he reveals how Brian Jones, the founder of the Rolling Stones, was left behind in the shadows of history. 

Broomfield props the film up with first-hand accounts, particularly from former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman, whose enthusiasm for the music, and Jones’s contributions to it, is infectious. The old stories are bolstered by the addition of new, fresh interviews but it is the focus on Jones as a brilliant musician and not simply another rock ‘n’ roll casualty, that elevates “The Stones and Brian Jones.” The story has its sordid moments, but Bloomfield emphasizes the very heart of Jones’s being, the music.

We’ll also get to know Chelsea McMullen, director of Swan Song, a documentary that takes us inside the National Ballet of Canada’s 2022 legacy-defining new production of “Swan Lake,” choreographed for the first time by the company’s artistic director Karen Kain, who famously debuted in the ballet in 1971. The film’s intimate, character-driven approach chronicles creative conflicts, devastating injuries and personal sacrifices amongst its subjects who, in various ways, confront ideals of race, class and body standards as they navigate a tradition that has historically valued uniformity and compliance.

Then, John Carney, the Irish musician and director of Flora and Son, a new Apple TV+. comedy about a mom, played by the fabulous Eve Hewson, who tries to connect with her rebellious son with music. The director of the Academy Award winning film “Once” tells me about his music saved his life and why he didn’t include my favorite Dublin pub in the film.

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

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Each week on the nationally syndicated Richard Crouse Show, Canada’s most recognized movie critic brings together some of the most interesting and opinionated people from the movies, television and music to put a fresh spin on news from the world of lifestyle and pop-culture. Tune into this show to hear in-depth interviews with actors and directors, to find out what’s going on behind the scenes of your favourite shows and movies and get a new take on current trends. Recent guests include Chris Pratt, Elvis Costello, Baz Luhrmann, Martin Freeman, David Cronenberg, Mayim Bialik, The Kids in the Hall and many more!

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Fast reviews for busy people! Watch as I review three movies in less time than it takes to tip your hat! Have a look as I race against the clock to tell you about “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” the biopic “Rustin” and the rock doc “The Stones and Brian Jones.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


I joined CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres.  Today we talk about the animated “Trolls Band Together,” the origin story “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” the biopic “Rustin,” the sports comedy “Next Goal Wins,” and the rock doc “The Stones and Brian Jones.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


I sit in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the animated “Trolls Band Together,” the origin story “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” the biopic “Rustin,” the sports comedy “Next Goal Wins,” and the rock doc “The Stones and Brian Jones.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

THE STONES AND BRIAN JONES: 4 STARS. “sex, drugs and a dose of the blues.”

A month after the release of “Hackney Diamonds,” the latest record from The Rolling Stones, comes a documentary about the largely forgotten musician who started the band. “The Stones and Brian Jones,” a new film from Nick Broomfield and now playing in theatres, examines the man who posted the want ad in “Jazz News” that got the Stones rolling in 1962.

“He was the heart and soul of the Rolling Stones,” says Broomfield in the film. “Yet, most people today haven’t even heard of him.”

At age 14, Broomfield, director of music docs like “Kurt & Courtney,” “Biggie & Tupac” and “Whitney: Can I Be Me,” had a brief, chance encounter with Brian Jones on a train. Jones was then a superstar, the guitarist of the Rolling Stones, the dangerous alternative to the clean cut Beatles.

Six years later, the director attended the famous Rolling Stones concert in London’s Hyde Park, a tribute to Jones who had been found dead less than a month after he was fired by the band he began. “If anyone was going to die; Brian was going to die,” Jagger said. “He just lived his life very fast. He was kind of like a butterfly.”

A light that burned brightly, Jones was an innovative multi-instrumentalist with a love of the blues, who embodied London’s Swingin’ Sixties, but harboured a troubled soul. With a mix of new they-were-there interviews from folks like former Stones bassist Bill Wyman, Animals’ singer Eric Burdon, model/singer Zouzou and singer Marianne Faithfull, plus archival footage and interviews from Mick jagger, Keith Richards and Charlie Watts, among others, Broomfield builds a portrait of Jones as the bad boys band’s most rebellious member.

Raised by straightlaced parents, an aeronautical engineer father and church organist mother, Jones displayed antagonism toward authority early on, rebelling against his family and getting suspended from school. Obsessed with blues artists like Elmore James and Robert Johnson, he got his first acoustic guitar at aged seventeen and began performing at blues and jazz clubs. He was s womanizer—”He just uses people,” says teenager Valerie Corbett, mother of his first baby.—a wild child, uninvited to art college after being labelled an “irresponsible drifter.”

The story of the beginning of the Stones is more familiar. Jones put the band together, gave them the name, cribbed from “Rollin’ Stone Blues,” track five, side one of “The Best of Muddy Waters,” taught Jagger to play harmonica and roomed with his bandmates in a grungy apartment on Edith Grove in Chelsea as they developed the intertwined guitar sound that would characterize their music.

With fame, came musical exploration—Jones played everything from slide-guitar and harmonica to recorder and Appalachian dulcimer—but also a change in the band’s dynamics. As Jagger and Richards moved the band’s sound further away from the blues Jones loved to a more mainstream rock ‘n’ roll vibe, Jones found himself indulging in two-thirds of the sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll stereotype. “Drugs destroyed his discipline,” says filmmaker Volker Schlöndorff, “and you can’t be an artist without discipline.”

As for the sex, Broomfield details Jones’s chaotic relationship with actress, artist, and model Anita Pallenberg, who left Jones for Richards. He also dives deep into the decision to remove Jones from the band and his passing, called “first drug/alcohol casualty of our generation.”

Much of the biographical information is familiar, but Broomfield props up this section with first-hand accounts, particularly from Wyman, whose enthusiasm for the music, and Jones’s contributions to it, is infectious.

A note of pathos comes near the end when Bloomfield reveals a personal note from Jones’s father expressing regret for not being more supportive. The formality of the writing hides a deep well of emotion and acceptance, which, for the musician, came too late to ease his troubled mind.

The old stories are bolstered by the addition of new, fresh interviews but it is the focus on Jones as a brilliant musician and not simply another rock ‘n’ roll casualty, that elevates The Stones and Brian Jones.” The story has its sordid moments, but Broomfield emphasizes the very heart of Jones’s being, the music.

Geoff Pevere & Richard host a special screening of “Gimme Shelter”!

Gimme-Shelter_image2January 25th at 7:00 pm will feature a special screening of Gimme Shelter at the Revue Cinema. Due to the Revue’s inability to obtain the rights to Don’t Look Back, special guest Geoff  Pevere will be interviewed by Richard Crouse as they discuss what many consider to be the most impactful music documentary ever produced. Geoff and Richard long-time friends and television co-hosts will discuss the history of rock music as a visual medium and Gimme Shelter’s role in that history.

Gimme Shelter

1970    91 mins

A harrowing documentary of the Stones’ 1969 tour, with much of the focus on the tragic concert at Altamont.

Directors: Albert MayslesDavid Maysles

Stars: Mick JaggerKeith RichardsMick Taylor

Called the greatest rock film ever made, this landmark documentary follows the Rolling Stones on their notorious 1969 U.S. tour. When three hundred thousand members of the Love Generation collided with a few dozen Hells Angels at San Francisco’s Altamont Speedway, Direct Cinema pioneers David and Albert Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin were there to immortalize on film the bloody slash that transformed a decade’s dreams into disillusionment.

Geoff Pevere is one of Canada’s leading pop culture commentators and movie critics. Geoff was a former host of CBC Radio’s Prime Time program, a movie critic with the Toronto Star for ten years, a TV host and a lecturer on film and media and is currently a movie columnist with the Globe and Mail. He is the co-author of the national bestseller Mondo Canuck: A Canadian Pop Culture Odyssey, his books include Toronto on Film and Donald Shebib’s Goin’ Down the Road, his latest book is Gods of the Hammer – The Teenage Head Story.

Geoff will be signing copies of Gods of the Hammer! If you don’t have your own copy you can pick one up at the Revue before and after the screening.

“Cocksucker Blues” screens on Friday, January 17 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto

1303154788145_f(From Richard’s book, “The 100 Best Movies You’ve Never Seen,” ECW Press 2003)

“It’s a fucking good film, Robert, but if it ever shows in America we’ll never be allowed in the country again.” – Mick Jagger to director Robert Frank

You probably haven’t seen one of the best movies about rock and roll ever made, and Mick Jagger wants to make sure you never do. “Cocksucker Blues,” the legendary documentary about the Rolling Stones, is so raunchy it even made the Fab Five blush. Although it was produced with the full cooperation of the band, they still took director Robert Frank to court to block distribution.

The Rolling Stones first met the Swiss-born photographer Robert Frank at a mansion in Los Angeles during the sessions for “Exile on Main Street.” As Europeans they shared a common fascination with American culture. The Stones were walking encyclopedias of Southern blues, while Frank had travelled the States in the mid-1950s snapping a series of photographs that would be released as a book titled ”The Americans.” By the time of their meeting in 1972 the Stones were the biggest rock band in the world and “The Americans” was already regarded as one of the classic photography books of the century.

After their initial meeting Frank was hired to provide cover art for “Exile on Main Street.” He gave them a photo h had taken in 1950 of a collage of circus freaks from the wall of a tattoo parlor on Route 66. The cover photo was met with such critical acclaim that the Stones decided to expand theoir working relationship with rank and hired him to shoot a no-holds-barred documentary of their 1972 American tour, to be produced by the legendary owner of Chess Records, Mashall Chess.

The Stones had not performed I the U.S. since the December 1969 debacle at the Altamont Racetrack, the final date of the tour that was filmed by Albert and David Maysles and released as a full-length feature titled “Gimme Shelter.” Shot in the waning moments of the 1960s, “Gimme Shelter” not only documents the actual end of the decade, but it ideological end as well. During the Altamont concert the Hel’s Angels, hired as security by the Stones, used pool cues and knives to beat an 18-year-old African-American audience member to death. AS the band played “Under My thumb” and Meredith Hunter lay dying on the ground, the image profoundly signaled the end of the era of peace and love. It was an historical moment and the Rolling Stones had it on film.

“Gimme Shelter” is an above-average rockumenary, and the inclusion of the controversial Altamont footage assured it would be successful. Three years later it was time for a follow-up. Jagger decided to call the movie “Cocksucker Blues” after a rough-and-ready tune he had written about a gay hooker in London, and gave Frank a full access pass to shoot wherever and whatever he wanted. That was a decision that would later come back to haunt the band.

Frank chose to shoot the film cinema verite style in black and white (with the odd bity of colour thrown in), which lends a stark newsreel feel to the movie. His dispassionate eye neither judges nor comments, preferring the viewer to draw their own conclusions as he films Keith Richard’s descent into heroin addiction or a battered woman trying to hide her face from the camera. There are many outrageous sequences in the film: saxophonist Bobby Keyes and Keith indulge in one of the great rites of passage for any rock star—throwing a television out of a hotel window; Keith advises Mick on the best way to snort cocaine; naked groupies masturbate for the camera—and one gets the feeling they are genuine, despite the Stones’ later claim that Frank stages some of the more decadent scenarios. As part of a legal settlement with the band rank was forced to add a disclaimer at the beginning of the movie stating, “all scenes except the musical performances are fictitious.”

To my mind the thing that makes this documentary special, setting it heads above the other anything-that-is-worth-doing-is-worth0-over-doing music movies is not the sensational sex, drugs and rock and roll footage, but the shots of the band in the downtime between concerts. This, I suspect is the side the myth-hungry Rolling Stones didn’t want you to see.

Frank unblinkingly shows us the tedium of life on the road, and allows the real lives of the band members to be revealed. Mick, the ultimate rock star, for example, is seen trying to deal with his high maintenance wife Bianca, who is often seen crying and playing with a small music box. The band is shown killing time between gigs be ordering room service, engaging in inconsequential conversations, or simply not speaking at all. This was hardly the high glam life that would be expected from the “World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band,” although these are the scenes that humanize the group and put a pinprick in the bubble of fame that surrounded the Stones in their glory days. Director Jim Jarmusch called “Cocksucker Blues” “definitely one of the best movies about rock and roll I’ve ever seen. It makes you think that being a rock star is one of the last things you’d ever want to do.”

There are also some great in-concert moments, although “Cocksucker Blues” is by no means a concert flick. In one memorable sequence Frank intercuts backstage antics at roadies snorting coke with the Stones on-stage, creating a hypnotic tableau that shows both the public and private dichotomy of the group and life on the road. Other standout performances include an “Uptight”/”Satisfaction” medley (with Stevie Wonder), “Happy” and “Street Fighting Man.”

The era when it would be possible to make a film like this showing a band at this level is over. Now publicists would run interference at every stop, and every media-savvy groupie would demand a release form and a fee. “Cocksucker Blues” may represent our last truly unfettered look into the lives of rock gods at the peak of their fame. The practice of celebrity journalism has been dealt a mortal blow by overzealous celebrity minders whose purpose in life is to sanitize their client’s images and make sure that compromising situations like the ones in the movie never make the light of day.

Not everyone agrees with my assessment of “Cocksucker Blues” as the greatest (and most revealing) rock movie ever, least of all the Rolling Stones. “I thought it was a piece of shit actually,” Bill Wyman, the Stones original bass player told me in 2001. “I thought it was so amateur and poorly done. I just couldn’t relate to it. [Robert Frank] was obviously just looking for anything sensational. That’s why me and Charlie are hardly in it, because we weren’t sensational. All the good bits, I thought, were cut out. It was just like a poor home movie, shot badly. I couldn’t relate to it. I had no interest in it really.”

The film has had very few public screenings. Frank’s vision of the rock and roll superstardom may have been too raw for the Stones, who sued to have the film shelved. Instead of suppressing the film completely, they reached a complicated settlement that allows Frank to show the film once a year, as long as he is in attendance. Bootleg copies—with a picture quality that “sucks as much as the groupies” as one critic joked—have bee widely distributed and are available for rent in many places.

UPDATE: “Cocksucker Blues” screens on Friday, January 17 at 6:30 p.m. at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto, and “Pull My Daisy” screens on Saturday, January 18 at 4:30 p.m as part of Hold Still – Keep Going: Films by Robert Frank — The Free Screen’s annual artists’ retrospective for 2014, running from January 17 to January 20. Programmer Chris Kennedy presents four programmes on the work of photographer and experimental filmmaker Robert Frank.  Although best known for his photographic series The Americans, Frank is also considered one of the most important independent filmmakers in post-war America.